It is Milwaukee Magazine's pleasure to introduce this special section featuring female business owners, financial and spiritual leaders, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and all-around glass-ceiling breakers!
Jaime Wszelaki, who directs the art (kindergarten through eighth grade) and robotics (first through eighth grade) departments at Milwaukee Montessori School, was hooked by the school’s “welcoming aura of order and learning” when she arrived in 2005.
By adding art to STEM, she teaches STEAM. Jaime’s determination has allowed both departments to be award winning for 15 years. “The school also supports me personally as an artist. I have a public city mural up on the side of Swoon [at North 54th and West Vliet streets], administer adult copper workshops and sell my paintings and copper sculptures around Milwaukee. My creative outlook is transferred to my students,” she says.
“I try to produce innovative problem solvers with a creative edge.”- Jaime Wszelaki, Art Director and Educational Robotics Director, Milwaukee Montessori School
Q&A With Jaime Wszelaki
How are you a force within your community?
“Transferring my experiences to others connects us. Knowledge needs to be spread and shared to connect the world. As human beings, we never stop learning, and Milwaukee Montessori School has assisted me in bringing knowledge and experience back to my students and faculty, as well as the Milwaukee student robotics community. The school supported my robotics training at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute. Then I introduced water robots, SeaPerch. An award from the U.S. Navy as a Distinguished Educator granted me a trip to the USS Carl Vinson – a U.S. Navy aircraft in the Pacific Ocean – to spread the knowledge of teamwork and robotic innovation to others.
“I want people to stroll through our neighborhoods and enjoy the beauty of my whimsical murals. We are all hustling and bustling in this big city, and we all just need to stop and take in the city’s creativeness and inventiveness and realize we all never stop learning and need to work together.”
What is your life purpose?
“I spent my first three years of college working toward a marine biology degree before I decided to become an art teacher. I love working with my whole brain! Pioneering the robotics program 15 years ago at Milwaukee Montessori School has allowed me to do just that! I have an unbelievable want for knowledge that I can share with my students and adults alike.”